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LAS VEGAS – The $160 million Community One FCU, headquartered in Las Vegas, has decided to offer Platinum VISA cards at 0% annual percentage rate for six months. The offer will be good from April 1 through June 30, 2004. Applying for the new card will also enroll the member into a drawing for an Olympus digital camera. After six months the card’s rate jumps to 9.9%. The card will also offer CU Rewards points toward travel and merchandise, the credit union said. The offer is somewhat unusual since credit unions in general have not used the sorts of 0% offers on their cards that other card issuers have popularized. The credit union has 27,000 members, 2,500 of whom have the credit union’s highest rate card, giving the credit union portfolio $3.5 million in loans outstanding, according to NCUA’s data. “Actually this is the second time that we have offered the promotion,” explained Sherry Farris, vice president for special programs for Community One. “We offered it previously in the autumn and saw such an increase in our portfolio from it that we thought we would do it again.” Farris reported that the autumn promotion had brought a 26% increase in the credit union’s card portfolio and that the credit union had instituted the promotion after analyzing their cardholders with the help of the Raddon Financial Group. The Raddon Group helped the credit union identify the “balance rollers” that segment of the cardholders who roll their balances over from month to month and make small payments. Raddon had identified this group as the population most likely to respond to balance transfer offers and Farris said that had held true in Community One’s experience. She also reported that the second promotion would cover both the Platinum and Classic programs and that the credit union planned to track the new accounts over time. “We expect to lose 20% of the new accounts when the offer expires,” Farris said, “but that will leave 80% that we will hold.” -

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